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Author Topic: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out  (Read 11225 times)

RobertandShelly

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Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« on: April 03, 2012, 11:09:47 PM »
Hello, we thought we would share with the group as many of you have Norcold refrigerators. After a leak (ammonia) and near fire a few weeks ago, we replaced our our failed OEM cooling unit for a brand new Amish built unit.

Check out our first YouTube video if you're interested: http://youtu.be/EyCh7aXveow?hd=1

Even if your not replacing your cooling unit, check out the pics of the condensation, charring, and heat damage!

Hope this helps others,
Robert
Full-timers (Originally from Delaware)
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Full-timing Class of 2006!
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 10:31:27 AM »
Thanks for posting the video. 

I sure hope the Amish unit lives up to its billing. It will probably take a few years before the statistics prove it one way or the other. I note that the actual manufacturer of the "Amish-built" cooling units makes no claims that their units will last longer or resist corrosion longer/better than the OEM unit. The retailer, RV Cooling Unit Warehouse, doesn't actually claim that either - mostly just stresses the Amish reputation. 
Gary
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Ken & Sheila

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 02:30:25 PM »
Gary, At least your not giving your money to Norcold for a unit that has a good probably of failure. Your right though, hopefully the Amish unit will be better. Over the years I have had 3 2 new 1200 cooling units installed and one replacement 1200 refrigerator (this is after a minor fire on the back of the unit, lucky us it didn't take out the coach - Monaco did the replacement, I don't know if they were paid by Norcold). When we had the last replacement cooling unit installed and it didn't cool well and Norcold just said it was "within specs" I gave up. It was the Amish unit or residential. We went with the later and are very happy.

Ken

« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 04:00:35 PM by Ken & Sheila »
Ken & Sheila
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 03:01:10 PM »
Unlike some others, our Norcold 1200 has always performed well.  No problems and excellent cooling. But if it ever gives me trouble, I'm yanking it for a residential fridge.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Ned

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 03:59:15 PM »
Same for our Dometic.  It's performed well for 15 years, but if it ever dies, we'll get a residential, although that may take some creative cabinet work.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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2007 GMC Canyon

Ken & Sheila

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 09:48:36 PM »
I will grant the the second 1200 which was installed in our Windsor in the summer of 2000 was still working when we sold it in April 2009. But the first one had a replaced cooling unit then a fire. THe one in the Camelot failed in 6 months and the replacement wasn't good.

I had 2 Dometic's. One for 7 years and one for 9 years. Both worked well.

ken
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PancakeBill

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 10:03:43 PM »
So, do the Amish build cooling units out of wood with non-powered tools?
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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Ned

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 07:12:12 AM »
So, do the Amish build cooling units out of wood with non-powered tools?

What makes you think the Amish don't use power tools?  This is where we had our dashboard remodeled.  Everything was powered by a very large generator.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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PancakeBill

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 09:31:07 AM »
I had always thought the Amish shunned all powered tools, they don't have cars or electricity in homes, have visited Amish areas of PA.  Then went to the Carriage plant and saw all the Amish folks working there.  Guess I just don't get where they draw the line. 


Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
1997 Southwind 35P
Toads: 1997 Honda Accord & 1986 Westfalia
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60
WA1RI

RobertandShelly

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2012, 02:31:35 PM »
HI Gary, yes time will tell, although I believe they have been making refrigeration units for many many years, just not for the RV market? But as Ken mentioned we weren't about to give Norcold any more of our money! This was the second Norcold cooling unit in our fridge and this one could have not only burned our coach down but killed my wife while she was sleeping in the back of the coach (as she was when I arrived home and smelled it)! Then all the recall inconveniences and Norcold just says oh "Shut your unit off immediately" until the new or latest recall is preformed,  like that is easy/convenient. After multiple recalls and a near fire, I just don't trust them! We are full-timers. Not that this can't happen with the Amish unit but at least it's a different design, heavier duty, cheaper $, and has a standard 5 year warranty. We are willing to take the chance on them. So far, I haven't heard of them causing one fire.

Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out: http://youtu.be/EyCh7aXveow?hd=1
Robert
Full-timers (Originally from Delaware)
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2012, 03:04:45 PM »
Yes, the Amish Refrigeration Company has been around for some time and of course Amish people are known for their quality of craftsmanship. ONe can only hope it carries over...

Bill: Many Amish can and do use power tools in commercial endeavors, even though they would not employ them in their own home. A few years back was in one woodworking shop in the basement of a Amish home. It had power tools for wood carving, an electric cash register and a phone line for credit card processing. Upstairs in the same dwelling, none of those things. Similar thing on Amish dairy farms - electric refrigeration for the milk because health regulations require it, but no electric labor saving devices. The Amish are very practical about their businesses and seem to have no problem segregating business needs from personal lifestyle.
Gary
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denmarc

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2012, 11:00:51 AM »
Ditto Gary's reply.  I delivered alot of metal to the northern Indiana area to all the RV and utility trailer manufacturers for quite a few years.  Have seen/met alot of Amish working in those plants.  It was told to me that they have to make a living for their families just like the rest of us.  The difference was how they live at home.  And they are some of the friendliest folks I have ever met! 

Granted, passing a horse drawn carridge on a two-lane road can be a PITA, but I would have no problem with them as neighbors.
Mark

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Bob Maxwell

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2012, 09:31:10 PM »
I had always thought the Amish shunned all powered tools, they don't have cars or electricity in homes, have visited Amish areas of PA.  Then went to the Carriage plant and saw all the Amish folks working there.  Guess I just don't get where they draw the line.

Bill, there are Amish machine shops, one of which is ENE of Topeka IN. When I was Inter-company Purchasing Manager for Starcraft, I had a PA in our Listowell ON plant who forgot to order a bin full of stainless steel U-bolts for the springs to be attached to the axle of the pop-top campers to be built in 13 weeks. It was a 16 week lead item during the Viet Nam conflict.

After contacting every machine shop known that could handle that large a job, I called in Steve Hire, my crew leader, who managed the warehouse and made emergency weekend runs for me. I asked him "What do the Amish do when they need u-bolts for the springs on their buggies?" He said he's find out -and headed for the assembly lines. There were at least 60 horse pulled buggies in our parking lot. Steve came back and said, "There's an Amish machine shop ENE of town!" Out we headed in his pickup.

On our way we saw various3 & 4 horse Clydesdale teams plowing the deep black loam of the IN soil. We arrived at the machine shop which was all hydraulic with a pay phone across the dirt road. Out back was the key to the operation: a gravity fed diesel engine that via a long shaft operated via belt brake presses, lathes, air compressor, anything needing powered motion. Belts worked the shafts & pumps. Amazing! They made buggie frames and parts, wheel rims, farm equipment and u-bolts. And everything was hand assembled. The cost was only 300% more per piece. So, instead of $2.50 it cost us $10.00 each spring, $20.00 not $5.00 per unit. And they delivered in 10 weeks. We did not have to close the plant for 3 weeks. The Canadians breathed a sigh of relief, my boss was very pleased and my team's reputation for doing the impossible in a limited time was enhanced.

The key for the Amish, as I was told by the shop owner, is that gravity did the work driving the belts that pushed or pulled. Nature was doing all the work. No electricity was used in making anything.

I'm sure if one was walking a back road in Amish country or checked in Shipshewana, someone would tell you how to find one if you wanted to visit it.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 09:33:08 PM by Bob Maxwell »
Adiós. . .

Bob †
and wife Betty Font 

. . . still ridin' for the brand.

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2012, 08:14:16 AM »
You cannot generalize - each local group ("meeting") of Amish people decide where they "draw the line" for themselves. There is no central religious authority that make a policy decision for all Amish - that too is a tenet of their faith.
Gary
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Bob Maxwell

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2012, 02:19:35 PM »
Correct Gary!

You cannot generalize - each local group ("meeting") of Amish people decide where they "draw the line" for themselves. There is no central religious authority that make a policy decision for all Amish - that too is a tenet of their faith.

The Amish sometimes referred to as Amish Mennonites, are a group of Christian church fellowships that form a subgroup of the Mennonite churches. These were followers of Frisian Menno Simons and were believers in adult baptism and known as Anabaptists. They were persecuted by both Catholics and Protestants.

The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. They are believe in living in peace with all people, we call them pacifists. The do have bishops, deacons, and elders and have boundaries like districts. The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann. Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish.

In the early 18th century, many Amish and Mennonites emigrated to Pennsylvania for a variety of reasons. Today, the most traditional descendants of the Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch. However, a dialect of Swiss German predominates in some Old Order Amish communities, especially in Indiana. The Old Order Amish are those whom I experienced in Middlebury, Shipshewana, Lagrange and Topeka IN.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 02:37:11 PM by Bob Maxwell »
Adiós. . .

Bob †
and wife Betty Font 

. . . still ridin' for the brand.

1994 Suncruiser 34RQ, Cummins 5.9L/230 Allison 3060
'08 Kia Spectra5,
FMCA SKP

Holbrook AZ, west of the Petrified Forrest NP on I-40

1Sammiedog

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2012, 10:18:34 PM »
Hello, we thought we would share with the group as many of you have Norcold refrigerators. After a leak (ammonia) and near fire a few weeks ago, we replaced our our failed OEM cooling unit for a brand new Amish built unit.

Check out our first YouTube video if you're interested: http://youtu.be/EyCh7aXveow?hd=1

Even if your not replacing your cooling unit, check out the pics of the condensation, charring, and heat damage!

Hope this helps others,

Robert, What a great video of your Amish Cooling unit installation. I just did the same installation on my 2006 Journey about a year ago and couldn't be happier. Now I feel safe about running the fridge without the worry of potential fire. If I remember right, either on Davids website or I was told by David himself, the new Amish Cooling units are made using a 50% thicker wall tubing which will long outlast the Norcold original product.

1Sammiedog (Steve)
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RobertandShelly

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2012, 09:23:27 AM »
Robert, What a great video of your Amish Cooling unit installation. I just did the same installation on my 2006 Journey about a year ago and couldn't be happier. Now I feel safe about running the fridge without the worry of potential fire. If I remember right, either on Davids website or I was told by David himself, the new Amish Cooling units are made using a 50% thicker wall tubing which will long outlast the Norcold original product.

1Sammiedog (Steve)

Thank you Steve! Yes, we feel so much better/safer now that the new Amish cooling unit is in!
Yep, it also has double cooling loops, and larger evaporator tubing. You can tell just by looking and touching the new unit that it's better made than the OEM.

PS...we traveled this week and was pretty warm (90's) here in southern AZ and the fridge stayed nice and COLD!

http://youtu.be/EyCh7aXveow?hd=1

Robert
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Robert
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Jammer

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2012, 04:17:28 PM »
Perhaps off topic, but I'd like to observe that the overall experience with the Dometic fridges that Airstream has been installing is a good one.  The cooling units are very reliable with only the occasional failure in units 10-20 years old or more.  I've had to replace the light switch in mine but everything else just works.
2004 Suburban 2500 4wd 8.1 / 2010 Airstream Classic 30' /
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RobertandShelly

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Re: Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2012, 05:01:14 PM »
Perhaps off topic, but I'd like to observe that the overall experience with the Dometic fridges that Airstream has been installing is a good one.  The cooling units are very reliable with only the occasional failure in units 10-20 years old or more.  I've had to replace the light switch in mine but everything else just works.

Yeah maybe a bit....Glad you have had good experience but I believe even Dometic have had their share of fires and/or recalls? However, I will say lately I haven't read about issues with them as compared to some of the Norcold's. Sure was a scary situation with our Norcold! As nice as the new Amish unit looked and is designed, I'm sure it will hold up very well (10-20yrs who knows).

Our Norcold to Amish Built Cooling Unit Change-out: http://youtu.be/EyCh7aXveow?hd=1
Robert
Full-timers (Originally from Delaware)
Escapees RV Club Members
Full-timing Class of 2006!
2000 American Dream 40' DS
2003 Saturn LW200

 

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